Way back in 1984, I was inspired by my love of walking in the Pyrenees to start a company sharing my knowledge and enjoyment with others.
I named the company after the warm breeze that blows up from the south – from the Sahara in fact – that gives us such a unique climate making the Pyrenees both warm and green.
And now we help over 13,000 people every year to enjoy walking and cycling holidays in the Pyrenees, and in other equally beautiful and unspoilt parts of the world.
While I am French and a Pyrenean through and through, I have always had, as you say, a soft spot for Britain, and worked there while learning English.
So I am delighted that we are now launching a proper English language holiday programme with itineraries, accommodation, transfers and packages designed exclusively for the worldwide English speaking market.
One of the major differences is this: many English speakers may visit the Pyrenees only once, so we have packed as many highlights into each itinerary as we can. You visit iconic places every day, and stay in truly authentic hotels enjoying some of the best cuisine in France.
So if you ask who we are, we are Pyreneans – and you can be sure we will do everything in our powers to give you the best possible experience of our homeland.
As people say these days, ENJOY !
Founder, La Balaguere & Purely Pyrenees
We Pyreneans are proud to belong to the prestige collection of the world’s greatest mountain ranges – the Rockies and Andes, the Himalayas and Caucasus, the Alps and Pyrenees.
The Pyrenees are upto 80 miles wide and less than 300 miles coast-to-coast, but well over 500 miles by walking paths, and cram in a huge amount of variety. Our natural trees, shrubs and flowers are as varied as they are useful and beautiful. We can grow sub-tropical crops in our gardens, yet have snow resting in gullies right through the summer. We are as keen on walking in summer as we are snow-shoeing in winter. We have wild bears as well as our unique “goat-antelope”, the chamois, while our cows and brebis (tough mountain sheep) share the high pastures in summer with cuddly marmots and lightening fast pine martens.
We are a peace loving people (as all mountain people tend to be) except when unreasonably challenged – for example by Muslims from the south (we stopped their advance in the 9th century), and Catholic forces from the north in the 13th century – but we have always welcomed pilgrims using our ancient pathways to cross our mountains on the St James route to Santiago de Compostela. Yet left to our own devices, we love nothing more than the quiet life: farming and family, walking and cooking, community life and the education of our children (we are among the best performing regions in Europe). Here we live without frontiers – borders are rarely visible between Spain and France - and our ancient Catalan culture unites us.
And culture is something we are particularly proud of. We are as proud and protective of our large numbers of medieval monasteries, hermitages, churches, citadels, walled villages and towns, museums and art galleries as we are of our many natural wonders including Cirque de Gavarnie, Mont Perdu, Spanish Lakeland, the Pyrenean Mediterranean coast, and numerous glorious valleys.
These are just some of the reasons why visitors tend to get The Pyrenean Bug. It’s a very benign Bug that makes you want to come back time and time, not least because there is so much more to discover and enjoy. To be honest, Purely Pyrenees is both a cause and cure for that Bug. All our walking and cycling itineraries are packed with Pyrenean highlights – often 2 or 3 in just one day – so we help you to catch the Bug, and cure the itch – temporarily at least.
The simple fact is that when you come to the Pyrenees, you will discover its wide ranging pleasures and pleasant surprises for yourselves. We don’t need to “sell” it to you. We just need to make sure you get the experience that’s right for you – that best meets your needs and wants. And that’s what Purely Pyrenees is all about: you and Your Pyrenees. We are sure you will enjoy it as much as we enjoy Our Pyrenees.
Want news about our holidays?I want to sign up for The Purely Magazine newsletter